Mint Museum of Art
The Mint Museum of Art’s two locations give culture lovers a modern uptown experience and a tour of the former U.S. Mint building in Randolph. The five-story Mint Museum Uptown is located in Charlotte’s cultural hub, the Levine Center for the Arts. The Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 as the first art museum in North Carolina. Together, the two buildings house a wealth of historic art.
In Randolph you’ll find some paintings, but mainly textiles and ancient ceramics. Admire a formal robe and petticoat from the 1770s and a cocktail dress from the 1990s. Native American Indian art at the museum includes historic crafts in clay, wood and natural fibers, and early works of famous contemporary artists. Wander through the Decorative Arts and Art of the Ancient Americas exhibits to see pottery and jewelry from as far back as 2,800 B.C.
The Mint Museum Uptown showcases contemporary American and European art, and historic American art from between the late 1700s and 1945. A highlight is the colorful collection of works by Charlotte-born artist Romare Bearden. This 20th-century African-American collagist and painter lived most of his life outside North Carolina and was inspired by Mexican muralists.
The uptown collections focus on craft and design items that push the limits of materials and the imagination. Many of this museum’s pieces showcase glass, clay, natural fibers, metal and wood, which inspire dialogue about technology, form and function and aesthetics.
Check out the Levine Center, which also houses a theater, a museum of modern art and a center for African-American arts and culture. This cultural campus has many visitor amenities, including a café and gift shop.
Temporary exhibits change regularly at both venues, and events, art demonstrations and educational programs run seasonally throughout the year.
Both museums are open daily, except for major holidays. If you are driving to the uptown location, there’s paid parking in the Levine Center for the Arts garage. Free parking is available in front of the Mint Museum Randolph. Buses go to both locations.